A unique fundraising experience is scheduled for this February at the Lake Norman YMCA in Cornelius.
Coordinated by Jessica Phipps, 39, the event is called Revolution: an epic indoor cycling challenge. It is a four-hour indoor ride on stationary cycles. The event is the brainchild of Roddy Cobb, one of the instructors at the YMCA.
When Phipps heard about the idea, she ran with it. This is the third year of the event, and it has grown each year.
There are two ways that participants can ride at the event. Individuals can cycle the full four hours or a team of four can rotate riders. Each team or individual raises funds through personal donations or pledges.
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Last year's event raised $3,000. Phipps has set a goal of $5,000 for this year.
There will be four cycling instructors who will each lead one hour of the challenge. It is set up like an indoor cycling class, with each instructor bringing his or her unique flair to the participants. This year, the instructors will be coordinating their play lists to create the feel of one continuous ride. The party atmosphere will include upbeat music, dimmed lights and plenty of people to cheer on the cyclists.
The fundraiser benefits Community Outreach of the Lake Norman YMCA. It is their campaign to raise funds for four programs that benefit the needs of the community.
The Starfish Academy is a summer literacy camp for rising first- and second-graders who are reading below their grade level. The cost is $1,500 per child, but the program is free for the children who participate.
The adaptive water-ski program is a volunteer-led summer program that helps children and adults overcome physical disabilities by learning to water ski.
Older Wise Living Stronger (OWLS) is a program that provides 115 seniors the opportunity to improve their physical fitness, as well as their emotional and spiritual health at four off-site locations. The program is free to participants.
The YMCA also provides financial assistance for preschool, summer camp, afterschool care, swim lessons and sports to families that could not normally afford these programs.
"We need the communities help to fund these programs," Phipps said. "Their are many people who are in need."
These programs are especially meaningful to Phipps, the group exercise cycling coordinator for the Lake Norman YMCA. When asked why she chose this event to coordinate, Phipps explained that cycling is a big part of her life, that it is fun for her to coordinate an event that helps the YMCA and that it is one of her passions.
Outside of the YMCA, Phipps enjoys triathlons, outdoor cycling, hiking and running. She can often be seen doing these activities with her husband Andy, and her children, Noah, 4 and Nadia, 2.